If you’re here, giving up your precious time to meet me in this space, I know that running a business that brings happiness and fulfilment into your life is important to you. You’re not interested in hustling and staying up all hours of the night staring at your computer screen with crossed-eyes. And you’re not interested in short-term-pain-(that never seems to end)-for-long-term-gain and compromising your wellbeing just to be ‘successful’. NO! You’re interested in freedom, space, health, joy, inspiration, creativity and, of course, an abundant bank account (because you can have all these things and money, you know!)
Lots of the business babes I meet have come from corporate backgrounds where staying back late and going above and beyond is celebrated. They’re also exposed to endless messaging on social media that tells them to ‘go-big-or-go-home’, push (and then push some more!) and constantly aim higher, in order to succeed.
But I say, F!CK THAT! The women and men in business that I know who run their businesses according to these rules are unhappy! Yes, some of them earn a decent income but they’re stressed out of their brains, sad, lonely and unhealthy.
I’m here to tell you that you can earn the big bucks and have a positive relationship with your business without busting your arse! No, it’s not about being lazy or sitting back and trusting that everything will magically fall into place - it’s about doing business intelligently, questioning your programming and respecting the fact that without a healthy you, you cannot have a healthy and joy filled business.
Today I want to share five things you can do in your business to create more ease, and bring more joy into your work days that will not only benefit you as the human behind the business, but also help you biz to grow and expand.
Get clear on how much money you need to earn
So many biz owners run themselves ragged because they’re fixated on earning more. And more. And more. They strive to hit $2000 weeks and when they get there, immediately adjust their goal to $2500 without any thought (or celebration!) Let’s be real, earning more dollars feels f!cking awesome, but it’s not always necessary.
There’s a big difference between how much we want to earn, and how much we need to earn in order to be happy. Earlier this year I went through a decent period of hitting $3000 weeks, which was a lot for me. And do you know what? Although it felt awesome to see my savings rise, I was not one ounce happier. Not one. We’ve been fooled to believe by the collective that more money equals more joy but it doesn't my friend. Yes, we need to earn enough to have our basic needs met, feel ‘safe’, put savings in the bank and take an annual holiday (well, I do anyway!) but we don’t need ‘all the money’ in order to do this.
I want you to consider for yourself, how much money do you need? There’s no right or wrong with this and everyone’s answer will be different. Some people will only need a small amount to feel content, others will need more - and that is okay! Getting clear on how much you need to earn to feel joyful will gift you a framework by which to plan your work days and keep you in check when the urge to do more sets in.
Let me share a little story from my personal life - my partner and I about to set sail and travel around Australia in our (mini) Bus, Albie. To make the most of our trip, I don’t want to be tied to my laptop. We figured out that we only need around $800 a week to be happy - a far cry from what I need in my ‘everyday life’. A weekly $800 income means I can limit the amount of work I take on and just work a couple of hours a day which feels so freeing and exciting to me!
LONG STORY SHORT: We don’t need endless amounts of money to be happy in life. Know how much you need so you can set boundaries in your business.
Be smart yo!
I’m a huge fan of doing less, but earning more. No, I’m not talking about ripping people off, I’m talking about being smarter.
Being smart in your business may look like:
Charging appropriately for your services and offerings (you might find this article, ‘Are You Charging Your Worth’ helpful)
Not charging by the hour
Including things like admin time in your quotes
Selling packages, or charging for projects, rather than individual services, and
Offering add-ons that don’t take up any of your time (like an e-book) but add value, appeal and differentiate you from others in your market who are offering similar services.
LONG STORY SHORT: Be smart about how you do business and don’t devalue what you have to offer. If you don’t, you’re going to burn yourself out. Fast.
Rewire your mind - working 8 hours a day is not the only way
Too many business owning women I know get the guilts when they don’t work an 8 hour day. They beat themselves up, put themselves down and make themselves feel like sh!t (which really can’t have a good impact on their overall wellbeing!)
This has to stop people! We have been brainwashed by the collective to believe that working 8+ hours a day is normal and necessary in order to ‘succeed’. It isn’t. I don’t know about you but when I worked in a day job I never used to work productively for 8 hours anyway! 15 minutes would be spent popping out for a coffee; 45 minutes would be spent on social media; an hour would be spent ‘collaborating’ with colleagues (aka talking about our after work plans) and 20 minutes would be spent checking the fridge to see if any new and delicious snacks had magically appeared. That’s A LOT of time spent NOT working - and I know I’m not alone! So why then, do we put pressure on ourselves to spend 8 hours fully immersed in our businesses when I personally wonder if this is even possible as a mere human?!
I thrive when I work for four to five hours a day it’s the perfect amount of time for me to be able to maintain my energy, creativity and focus. Some people can work more than that and some have to work less than that. The key is knowing what works for YOU! Imagine working a four hour a day then spending a couple of hours doing something nourishing like drawing/hiking/watching Netflix/surfing/sunbaking?! Can you imagine how energised and inspired you’d show up to work the next day, and how much more productive you’d be?
LONG STORY SHORT: Stop feeding into the B.S story that working 8+ hours a day is what you need to do to succeed. It ain’t. Working for shorter periods of time, but being more productive is way better than working more hours and doing less.
Stop doing the tasks you hate
I refuse to believe that business has to feel hard and unenjoyable. Yes, in the beginning stages of business you have to be mindful of where you invest your money, but I truly don’t believe in doing something that brings you down.
I suggest figuring out what you hate doing the most in your business, or that you’re really bad at, and outsourcing it.
So many women I write for say how relieved they feel when I join their team. They say that writing regular blog posts and newsletters fills them with dread and that they feel a huge resistance to creating other offerings, like e-books and e-courses, in their business. Because they know they should be creating new content often, the fact that they’re not eats away at them, keeps them up at night and depletes them of energy.
When I do something I love doing in my biz I am gifted back energy and creativity.
When I do something I hate, I feel tired, completely void of creative energy and resentful of my biz. It negatively affects my mood, my productivity and my relationship with my business.
Outsourcing becomes a bit of a no-brainer when you think of it like that, doesn’t it?
LONG STORY SHORT: You’ll achieve more in your business, and make more money, if you do the things you love, outsource what you resist and resent and let go of what isn’t necessary (like maintaining five different social media platforms!) Work in your zone and genius and let others work in theirs. Your biz and bank accounts will thank you in the long run!
Step the F way from your business from time to time
Have you ever taken a holiday and come back to your business feeling completely refreshed and reenergised? I know you have! Our businesses need us to step away from them from time to time in order to let them breathe and us to recalibrate. When we’re too close to things, we can’t see opportunities for growth and when we’re burnt out we can’t access our full creative potential (you can read my words about burnout here).
Stepping away from your business isn’t being lazy, it’s actually offering your business a gift. Although you’re not in action mode, you’re still doing something - you’re creating space, re-aligning yourself and pressing reset so you can show up as your baddest entrepreneurial self.
LONG STORY SHORT: Stop being a delusional hero who thinks the only way to ‘succeed’ is to work, work, work, work and then work some more. Instead of growing your business, you’re stifling it. Your biz needs you to be clear minded, creative and healthy so back the heck off and go and take care of yourself!